From Field To Fiber With Tatham Hemp Technology

MANCHESTER, England — June 26, 2023 — BTMA member Tatham has just delivered an advanced industrial hemp processing line to a major customer in Turkey and had many fruitful discussions about its machinery for the processing of natural staple fibers at the recent ITMA 2023 held in Milan from June 8-14.

The Bradford, England-based company continues to equip mills around the world with staple fiber spinning and nonwoven technologies for manufacturing a wide range of products, while its TS system for drives and controls is suitable for retrofitting to all OEM textile machines, to provide user-friendly control systems with complete synchronization and significant energy savings.

“We are currently fielding a lot of inquiries for technologies for the decortication, fiber opening and fabric forming of hemp,” said Tatham director Tim Porritt. “This is being driven by the sustainability of the fiber and concerns over climate change as brands seek solutions to meet their sustainability goals. As a result, there has been an explosion in the interest in hemp production, from farmers through to fiber production, and a wide range of new potential end-uses are being explored.”

Hemp is a very versatile fiber with a wide range of end uses, he added.

“These include construction and insulation materials, paper and packaging and composites, while some of our customers are modifying the fiber properties so the hemp can directly replace synthetic fibers in existing processing lines, such as spunlace for wipes, for example.”

Tatham offers a complete ‘Field to Fibre’ service for industrial hemp fiber production and its decortication and cleaning process has a gentle opening action to maintain the fiber length, to make it suitable for subsequent processing.

Tatham Director Tim Porritt

“In the UK we have two of the most efficient hemp decortication lines operating in the world, with efficiency measured in machine utilization, low maintenance costs and machine operatives,” said Porritt. “The main challenge facing hemp processors is in the harvesting/retting process which is critical to producing a good quality fiber, but hemp production also provides significant benefit in agriculture, improving soil health and enabling nutrient cycling via crop rotation. It also sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for carbon negative production.

Tatham decortication lines take care of both the shiv and the fiber and for each 1,000 kilograms (kg) of stalk there is a maximum potential yield of 300 kg of fiber and 600 kg of shiv.

“We discussed many options with companies either looking to enter this field or expand their existing capabilities in Milan,” Porritt concluded.

“An extensive range of technologies and services from the UK was on display at ITMA 2023, with over 30 members of the British Textile Machinery Association in attendance,” added BTMA CEO Jason Kent. “It was a really fantastic exhibition. Sustainability, circularity and Industry 4.0 have been the primary themes coming from the market for some time now and our members have responded with innovations spanning the entire supply chain — from fibers to finishing — and with a specific emphasis in many cases on improved software and digitized control solutions.”

Posted: June 26, 2023

Source: The British Textile Machinery Association (BTMA)